Discoverer of the Lachlan [29 May 1908]

[Editor: An article about the explorer George William Evans. Published in The Albury Banner and Wodonga Express, 29 May 1908.]

Discoverer of the Lachlan.

It is gratifying to hear that the Works Department is bestirring itself over erecting a memorial to that much-neglected and almost forgotten explorer, George William Evans, the discoverer of the Macquarie and Lachlan Rivers.

The memorial is to be erected on the site of the gum tree he marked in 1815, on the furthest point he reached on his first finding the Lachlan. The tree — a very fine specimen of a gum — flourished until some years ago, when it was thoughtlessly ringbarked in the interests of agriculture and settlement. To save the inscription, the shield of wood on which it was inscribed was cut off, and is now in the Australian Museum in College-street.

It is intended to erect a small, but permanent, obelisk of rough stone, with a metal plate affixed, bearing an appropriate inscription. This humble tribute will be the first sign of honor that New South Wales has made towards the memory of the man who found for her the Macquarie, the Lachlan, the Castlereagh, and in fact first opened up the broad tableland of inland Australia.

To have foreseen the tableland of to-day, Evans must have been either an inspired prophet or a madman; but he was neither. He was just a plain, conscientious surveyor, who did his work well, and as thanks therefor has been nearly forgotten, excepting by one indefatigable resident of the Lachlan, through whose perseverance the coming memorial will be erected.

A school child of this generation, asked for the names of the explorers, will answer, parrot-like, “Burke and Wills and Leichhardt”; or, perhaps, as an afterthought, “and Captain Cook founded Sydney.” It is pleasing to note that the Government of New South Wales is at last awakening as to what it owes to George William Evans.

Mr. Mansfred, of the Public Works Department, is the officer who is seeing to the memorial’s erection; and Mr. James Marsh, of Marshlands, near Eugowra, is the resident whose patriotism the shade of G. W. Evans has to thank for this tardy recognition of his work ever having been put in hand.



Source:
The Albury Banner, and Wodonga Express (Albury, NSW), 29 May 1908, p. 33

Editor’s notes:
shade = ghost; disembodied spirit

therefor = for it, or in exchange or return for that or this object or purpose (distinct from “therefore”, meaning consequently, for that reason, or thus)

[Editor: The original text has been separated into paragraphs.]

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